Posted by: Peter Hall
There is a lot in this world I do not have a full grasp of. Quantum computing, fluid dynamics, the undetermined arrival of The Singularity, chirality, and John McCain. But the angry living dead aside, there is much I have taken the reins on, one area of which is the hybridization of horror and science fiction. It is this fondness of the field that leads me to utter bafflement as to the existence of THE SUBSTITUTE, a great little film from Denmark. It is a well made adaptation of an intelligent script about children and their alien substitute teacher (and yes, I too am pretty sure I owned an R. L. Stine book with this plot). It is a lot of fun and I could recommend it to anyone.
My bewilderment has nothing to do with the movie, but the treatment of the movie. Perhaps most baffling is the absence of a single review on them there Rotten Tomatoes. I know critics and genre bloggers alike have gotten their mitts on the flick. Their praise is what drew me to THE SUBSTITUTE in the first place, so why the curious void of more publicly available praise? That’s okay, though. Not a writer’s fault if a film is underexposed, just odd considering even fucking ICE SPIDERS has at least one review on the huge movie hub.
I further do not comprehend Ghost House Underground’s cover for their DVD. Earth kind’s deductive reasoning would lead any half intelligible humanoid to assume THE SUBSTITUTE is a movie about ghosts. It is not. There is not a single ghost in the movie. I don’t think anyone even says the word ghost throughout the 93 minute duration. I know the default response to a marketing obstacle is to pull a bait-and-switch. I minored in mass communications, I get the concept, but how about this, GHU? Market it for what it is. A wicked movie about an alien who terrorizes the middle schoolers of a small community. Novel, I know.
And for the love of Advertising 101, get a better slug to throw on your DVD’s lame Photoshop cover. I don’t know who the jerk is that said, “A clever version of THE FACULTY”, but they’re an asshole. THE FACULTY is a clever movie. Asshole.